tv Road to the White House CSPAN May 8, 2011 9:30pm-11:00pm EDT
eastern and pacific. you can watch anytime at c- span.org, where you can find the video. next, a commencement speech from jon huntsman, the ambassador to china. we also show you the pharaoh speech of john ensign, and at 11:00 p.m., q&a. john hun sen gave the commencement dress saturday at the university of south carolina at columbia. the utah republican was nominated by president obama to become ambassador to china. he resigned as governor and to be overseas post in 2009. he stepped down as ambassador last month and is considering a run for the presidency in 2012. this is just under 20 minutes.
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> thank you. thank you. it makes me sound pretty cool. i am glad some family members were here. thank you for being here. two trustees, the faculty, the parents, the students, i am flattered and honored to be here today, and i assume it is because i know a little bit about this out. you see, i spent the last 28 years of my life with the south it. my wife mary kay, who is sitting over there, you'd be pleased to note that i do not even need an interpreter now when i meet with my in-laws.
how do you want it to read? how many chapters will there be? will it be fiction? or will it be non-fiction? heroics proof or romantic? , need? or tragedy, and starting the minute you wake up tomorrow, it is totally up to you. one thing i have learned is that your life will never be complete until you find your most deep- rooted passion, and you'll never find your passion until you learn to follow your heart.
the one thing that drives you and inspired you and motivates you, so promise me this. starting today, quit asking others what they think you should be. ask yourself and follow your heart. it will never let you down. my initial passion in life was to be a rock-and-roll musician. in my late teens, you would not recognize me. my hair was rod stewart shaggy. i would not wear anything but supressed any genes. i ended up leaving high school short of graduation to play with a band called wizard. i thought it was my ticket to fame. we were old and ugly as to green ford econoline van you could ever imagine, with folded up chairs and the back. it was pretty awesome until those inconvenient intersections, curves, and
stoplights caused those chairs to move around just a little bit, and seat belts were not exactly a force in those days. well, wizard did not make it, but i will never regret following my passion. sometimes, we take america for granted. sometimes, we forget that we have the freedom to pursue any passion while many in this world do not. i recently visited a very humble a part of a chinese woman. miss -- is a petite and impoverished wife, mother, and lawyer, and chose a pathway of activism. she is calling for fairness in a system that lacks the basic human rights that we in america believe are fundamental. she has been repeatedly detained
and tortured, so much so that i found her with her legs broken, her entire body immobilized, trapped in this disheveled one- room apartment, hardly even large enough to hold her wheelchair. on that cold winter day, her water, heat, and power had all been shut off. the only thing that worked now and again was internet connection on this old hand me down laptop, so here was the battle, one physically broken woman with a passion and belief in her cause, up against a government with the most formidable security apparatus in the world determined to keep her silent, so who won? but just weeks ago, she was rounded up and once again forced into an unknown detention facility.
charged with creating a public disturbance, this woman, unable to walk without assistance, was viewed as a public threat. she she follows her passion. to me, she wins. never take for granted your freedom to choose your own destiny. do not make the mistake of comparing your destiny to anyone else's. it is sure easy to look at somebody else's facebook walt and think that there might the some of that much more put together, it but everyone has different battles to fight and surroundings in which to cope. you alone have the ability to be your best friend or your worst enemy. embrace who you are and make yourself unique. like all of us, i am a product of my place in history. my earliest memories were
vietnam, civil-rights, the beatles on the ed sullivan show, and the assassinations of national leaders. it seemed to me like a time of great change, but it is not really that different from today. you see, your generation will have your own unique set of circumstances that make you feel that your future has somehow been derailed. wars, economic recessions, social upheaval, revolutions around the globe, and yet, in each case, we recover. we learn lessons and become ever more resilience. i know there are many in china within their time has come, that america's best days are over, and there are probably some in this country who have lost confidence and think that china is the next best thing, but these people are not seeing things from my earlier vantage
point of tens of miles away. the real test of a nation is not how well it does when times are good but how well it does when times are tough. the way i saw it from overseas, america's passions remain as strong today as ever. so log on to that sense of optimism, called on to that belief in your future. our free and open society that can respectfully and breeze debate, coupled with a free- market system that rewards risk and innovation is still the envy of the world. we are still less full of potential as ever. just remember this. when the oppressed are fighting autocratic regimes, they look to america for inspiration. when overseas entrepreneurs build companies, they still look to the united states as the gold
standard. when young people around the world want to attend the best colleges and universities, where do they go? they travel here. when playwrights, filmmakers, and the creative classes dream, their imaginations are fuelled so therica's example, world you step into tomorrow, regardless of where on this globe we come from should bring you the excitement, not fear, in anticipation, not anxiety. the prospect for breakthroughs and conquering human disease, lifting the poor from desperation and bringing about greater world peace, those are challenges worth your efforts. our system needs new thinking. we need a fresh generation of innovators, leaders, risktakers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and activists. that is you, and you are not
just taking ownership and responsibility for your own pathway but for all of our futures. one person is pathway i want to celebrate today is my daughter. who is also graduating from college this month and is here with me today. she makes life with easy with her contagious laugh and energetic personality, but few know she has faced great adversity. she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just eight years old, and she has spent every day sense giving herself numerous insulin shots. there were times when she wanted to give up, and call it quits, when life seemed so unfair. yes, her courage and determination kept her going. i want to dedicate my comments to her today. she is an inspiration and a hero to mean.
[applause] so before you officially stepped foot in the real world, let me leave with you a few thoughts. number one, the year. find the genius that is uniquely your own. nurture it. it is your passion. and do not let anyone drown out your inner voice. take that leap of faith, and trust your instincts. your uniqueness can change the world. do not stand in front of a near and try to look like everybody else. b u. number two. remember others. the greatest exercise for the human heart is not jogging or aerobics or weight lifting. it is reaching down and lifting another up. find a cause larger than
yourself, and then speak out and take action. never let it be said that you were too timid or too weak to stand by your cause. learn what it feels like to give 100% to others. it would change your life. no. 3. embrace failure. some of you probably have not landed the job you wanted. i am sure many of you have faced hardships. i have. failure only herds if you cannot turn it into a learning experience that makes you stronger and wiser. sometimes that momentary setback, that failure, seems by the end of the world. my heart was broken more than once. when friends of my kids, in moments of despair, have taken their own lives. please remember, when you encounter an obstacle in life,
four of the most powerful words in english language are this too shall pass. number four. find somebody to love. you see, it is lies most powerful emotion. i first saw my wife across the courtyard in high school. i tried to get attention by running for class president. i lost. it did not work. but when it unexpectedly found ourselves working together at a pie shop, i had a little more luck. this dishwasher caught the eye of the salad girl. i have a lot more loves now, too. seven kids, including two adopted daughters, one from india, the other from china. we got to visit their orphanages and meet many of the women who cared for them while they were
there. we saw how love can transcend race, geography, religion, and class. some people need friends. others need hope. and you will find some that just need love. reach out your hand and give them your heart. fit and finally. giveback. as much as you are able. work to keep america great. serve her, if asked. i was. but a president of a different political party, but in the end, while we might not be all of one party, we are all part of one nation, a nation that needs your generational get of energy and confidence. never forget how lucky you are to be sitting here in america today, even with student loans and maybe even a little uncertainty about your future.
we live in the greatest most freedom loving place on earth. embrace it. you might not succeed the first time. and you might feel a few times, but it will be the pathway you choose. no one else will force it on you. one of my favorite musicians, and love this lyric. i do not get many things right the first time. you know the song. in fact, i am told that a lot. now, i know all of the wrong terms, the stumbles, and fraud brought me here, and i know that i am the luckiest. be you. remember others. embrace failure, find someone to love, give back, never forget to rock-and-roll, and in closing, i want to leave you with my favorite chinese aphorism.
i think it was from a dynasty long ago. it is one of those that does not translate directly, but let me get as close as i can. speaking chinese now, in english, it translates roughly into, and you may have to help me on this one, go, fight, when. best of luck, graduates. thank you very much. [applause] thank you. thank you. >> thank you, john hun sen. let me assure you, your words were neither a cliche or
indiscrete. they were powerful, and we thank you for them, and we will remember them. i can assure you as well that a millisecond abbas commencement ceremony is over, there'll be thousands of google searches with two words, "huntsman" and "wizard." let's think jon huntsman one more time. [applause] >> on monday, a pharaoh speech on the senate floor. the senator has been under investigation by the senate ethics committee over whether he violated senate rules with an affair with a former campaign aide. her husband was the deputy chief of staff during most of the extra marital relationship. the resignation was effective may 3. his remarks are about 12 minutes. >> mr. president, i rise today
to deliver a very difficult speech, which will be my farewell speech to the united states senate. serving as the 24 united states senator has to be been the greatest professional privilege of my life. growing up with a single mom and very humble surroundings, i simply never imagined that one day, i would end up as a member of such an agusta body as this. unfortunately, the experiences that stem from a more than 10 years of my senate service cannot be summed up in one single speech. i owe a humble thank you to many people who helped to get me here and who have served me effectively. from campaign volunteers, staff, and donors, to some of the best people whom i've ever worked with, my senate staff. i cannot think you enough for honor of the past many years. each of you has helped me to
achieve more than the individual power alone cannot ever accomplished. when i look back on my time both here and in united states house of representatives, i am very proud of your accomplishments that we together have been able to achieve. i would like to take just a moment to mention just a few. the beauty of the state of nevada has been greatly enhanced and protected for the instrument of future generations because of my work in offering a management act and several other important things. because of these landfills, nevada has been able to keep nearly $3 billion that has been raised in southern nevada. this is money that did not have to come out of the united states treasury. in the past, public land in nevada was exchanged for sense of land around the state, but as a result of the bill, that we worked on, we were able to
instead auction the land, raising far more money than the state of nevada ever were able to do. this land revenue has been used to purchase sense of land to protected for future generations, but also to construct over 100 beautiful parks in southern nevada. i cannot tell you how proud i am what i driver m las vegas and see so many families enjoy these beautiful areas. the fed made a great quality of life that we enjoy in nevada that much better. additionally, for northern nevada, it has been evident throughout the years. i worked hard to ensure that the beauty of this tranquil waters and surroundings are just as beautiful decades from now as they are today, and our landfills helped to achieve this goal. through this legislation, hundreds of millions of dollars of the devoted to preserve this
ecosystem and importing fuel reduction projects around our state to help prevent catastrophic wildfires that so threaten the future of our state and its breathtaking landscape. additionally, i have been a passionate advocate for education reform. our landfills of directed millions and millions of dollars to nevada schools as an endowment that our state will reap the benefit from from many years to come -- for many years to come. i want to thank some senators for their cooperation in helping to draft these great pieces of legislation that our state benefits from so greatly. i also want to thank the folks on my staff, especially john lopez, who worked so hard to turn these pieces of legislation into law. speaking of legislation that became law, i would also like to highlight another accomplishment of which i am so proud. as the only bipartisan provision
in the so-called obama care bill, senator tom harkin and i worked against some powerful interest groups to get the healthy behavior's act added to the health reform bill. how are provision was modeled by safely in the private sector to both improve health care quality and to reduce the cost of health care. essentially, our provision rewards people in the form of lower health-care premiums for making healthy choices, such as smoking. if we as americans continue to eat too much, exercised too little, and smoke, it really does not matter what kind of health-care reform we an act in this country. costs will continue to escalate. i hope that this provision will highlight the individual contribution that we can all make to reduce our health-care costs. and certainly, this legislation
would not have become law if it were not for the spectacular job that was done from my office. as i mentioned earlier, i simply cannot with the number of things or the number of people on my staff that have helped me with legislation. we have accomplished a lot. i wish i could do it in just one speech, but it is not possible. i did speak at length about my fight for lower taxes and individual freedoms, the protection of constitutional rights, the dignity of our servicemen and women, education reform, and so much more, but there is not enough time, and i hope that my voting record and legislative record here in united states senate will continue to speak for me a long after i have left this chamber. i would like to speak about a few observations that i have made the course of my time here. when i first ran for office back in 1994, i was rather naïve. i was also very idealistic.
i simply wanted to make a difference in this great country. the roc the years, i may have lost my naivete, but i never lost my idealism. i still strongly believe that the united states is the greatest country in the history of the world, and it is worth fighting for and worth protecting. i will leave this place knowing that there are some really of standing people here who are just as idealistic or maybe more so than i ever was. they are willing to take the tough political road that is necessary to save this country from total bankruptcy. my prayer is that more people will join them in that courage. our children and our grandchildren deserve to have the same country that we enjoyed, and it is up to the house, the senate, and the white house to stand together with the american people to save the future of the united states from destruction. when i first arrived in the senate, i observed many people
who were so caught up in their own self importance and dizziness that arrogance literally dripped from them. unfortunately, they were blind to it, and everyone could see it but them. when one takes the position of leadership, there is getting caught up in the hype surrounding that status. oftentimes, the more power and prestige a person and cheese, the more arrogant person can become. as easy it was for me to review this and other people, unfortunately, i was blinded to how arrogant and self centered i had become. i did not recognize that i thought mostly of myself. the worst part about this is i even tried not to become caught up in my own self importance. unfortunately, the urge to believe in it was stronger than the power to fight it. this is another danger is the feeling of power and adulation can be.
my caution to all of my colleagues is to surround yourself with people who will be honest with you about how to who you really are and what you are becoming and then make them promise to not hold back no matter how much he may try to prevent them from telling you the truth. i wish that i had done this sooner. but this is one of hardest lessons that i have had to learn. i believe if i have learned this lesson earlier, i would of prevented myself from judging two of my colleagues when i had no place to do so. when i was chairman of the national republican senate committee, i was confronted with some personal issues facing ted stevens and senator larry craig. following one it confession and a guilty verdict, i called on both of them to resign. i sincerely struggled with these decisions afterward.
so much so that i went to each of them a few weeks afterwards and admitted what i did was wrong, and i after both of them for forgiveness. each of these men were gracious enough to forgive me, even though publicly, i did not show them the same grace. i am very grateful to both of these men. when i announced my personal failure two years ago, larry craig was one of the first to call in to express his support. i truly cannot tell you what that meant then and what it means to me today. the purpose of the speaking about this is to show that in life, a person understands more mercy a lot more when they need it and when it is shown to them. again, this is a hard lesson that i have had to learn, but i hope i can now show mercy to people who come into my life who truly need it. as i conclude, i have a few
others that i want to thank. my colleague from the state of nevada, senator harry reid. he beat me by just a little over 400 boats. it afterward, but two years later, when i was fortunate enough to win the election, senator reid and i sat down, and we kind of made a pact between us, that we were going to go on even though we we were going to work together for the people of the state of nevada. of late thing happened along the way or the last 10 years. senator reid and i developed a friendship. to people with opposite views on major national issues, but we worked together on a lot of issues that affected our state. friendships formed between our staff and a true friendship between senator reid and myself. for that, i want to thank him.
to my senate colleagues, i like to take a moment to apologize for what you have had to go through as a result of my actions. i know that many of you were put in difficult situations because of me, and for that i sincerely apologize. to my wife, darlene, who has been for so much, so many struggles, i owe more than i could ever repay. but i love her and i am so grateful that the lord has put her in my life. our children have never known anything than their debt leaving each week to come back to washington, d.c. for more work. all three of them are incredible and it has been a blessing and a privilege just to be their debt. at -- to be their dad. my parents have stood by me through thick and thin, and also
the rest of my extended family. i have wonderful friends to have been there with me and my family through the highs and lows. most importantly, i want to thank god for allowing me to be here. i have been encouraged by some not to mention god because it looks hypocritical because of my own personal failings, but i would argue that i have not mentioned him enough. i am glad that the lord not only for gives but he actually likes it when we ask for forgiveness. i hope i can do better in the future. i hope i can learn to love you with all my heart, soul, and strength, and to love others as myself. my colleagues, i bet you farewell. >> the senate gavels in tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. eastern. first up will be the swearing-in of dean heller of nevada to replace john ensign.
then a debate on the nomination of james cold to be deputy attorney general with a procedural vote on the matter at 5:30 p.m. live coverage of the senate on c-span2. >> next, a discussion on the candidates and issues in the 2012 campaign. this is about 45 minutes. host: our sunday round table with eric houser, chris hennick, thank you both for being with us. let me begin with jon huntsman and south carolina yesterday. by all accounts, he is entering the presidential race next month. >guest: a new set of eyeballs was his main lead where he started this day and spoke at the commencement at the university of south carolina and he has another commencement in new hampshire. here "-- he clearly has a plan.
republicans want a fresh face and i think he clearly is a candidate, reputable government official. host: the word in " the new york times" remains unsettled guest: it is about money. the an arm of this much potential candidates and this little money is troubling for the party. host: why? guest: 2 many candidates, not enough money. there are three problems to the republican presidential candidates. they have a couple of candidates, at least, who are french at best but very well known. second, they don't have much money and third, they lost one of the major arguments in the
last 10 days. host: let me share review what ambassador huntsman said yesterday. it is about 80 minutes and is available on our website at c- span.org. he was appointed to serve as ambassador to china by president obama and the talk about that yesterday. . >> give back, as much as you are able, work to keep america great, serve her it passed. i was, by a president of a different political party. in the end, while we might not all the of one party, we are all part of one nation. host: will that argument worked in a republican primary? guest: that is about the only one he has now. i think it is powerful. it shows a sense of service speaking to young graduates. he made a generational. we will soon see. the republicans will look at a
vast batch of candidates. there is no limit to choose from. this is his first step and i have to say that selecting these two states is pretty smart host: you spent some time working for rudy giuliani. he may still enter the 2012 race. guest: it is still yet to be determined critic. he wants to see where he fits in the field. that is still out there but we are going into the third or fourth quarter pre-presidential. in 2007, they raised $55 million in the first quarter of that year. maybe the third quarter of 2011 will be the first quarter of 2007. to some extent, the funding is not there.
the decision making of the electorate is there a they we will see. host: president biden will be in new hampshire to deliver a speech being called the kickoff to the new hampshire primary. we're also hearing the president talk about what happened in grant park and trying to recapture what the president and his advisers are calling the magic of that moment. guest: i think that is important. one of the problems the obama administration has as a governing force and engaged political force is a lack of fire. the last 10 days, in two extremes, taking on the birther issue and the killing of osama bin laden has begun to change
that a bit and brought him back to some of the fire of his roots and i think that is important. i don't know how they do this but i think that enthusiasm would be an important component. host: which states are pivotal states for the democrats? guest: it is like playing baseball in november. karl rove talking about what states are important today is me trying to pick the cubs' lineup in november for the next spring. he is a good mother and a petition but it is irrelevant because nobody knows who the candidates would be. the obvious answer is ohio, florida, pennsylvania, indiana,
virginia of but i think it is too early to project based on a potential gop. host: these are swing states often called purple states vs. pennsylvania and california which are viewed as a lock for the democrats. guest: we would like indiana to be a purple state forever. we don't know that yet. lightning struck in 2008 and everybody on both sides understand that. they are wondering what bottle it will be captured in in 2012 and i suspect it will be captured in many small bottles and we will not see that wave of passion we saw in the two months leading up to 2008. host: what do you think? guest: the republicans should be considered with thepre-election calendar.
the census has changed since the 2008 election and where obama had the 10 states and obama carried and he is losing those votes. there are two states where he actually carried where he gained two votes. to some extent, the mathematics of where the basket in the electoral college matrix fits -- clearly, the battlegrounds you talk about, north carolina, virginia, i don't see where the president with his approval ratings in the state's that carry less time will be difficult. with georgia and texas and they think they can carry that, if you look at it now, where the president could have between 240 some of electoral votes
which is a good estimate and the republicans probably have 190 or 200. there are 14 states where this will matter. regionally, it is fascinating. we will see if it is original or just based on that. host: eric houser is a veteran of presidential politics and chris hennick who worked in the bush white house. let me share with you the debate that took place this last week in the republican race. five candidates participated. this generated a lot of attention. >> quickly, if you could raise your hand, if as president, you would put out a photo of a dead
osama bin laden? mr. kaine, you would not? host: your response? the question was would you read les the voter rolls of osama bin laden? everyone but herman cain would not release it. guest: that is a national character issue. it is an appropriateness issue and a political issue. i think it would be wrong to release the photographs. we know he is dead. the bad guys know he is dead. abouts a certain point american a story that says we know it and we are done here. releasing the photograph is frightening to the muslim world. it suggests desperation.
it is unnecessary and inappropriate. let's go to other jobs. let's continue to take down terrorists and not worry about photographs. guest: it came down to the comportment of presidential candidates showing hands -- my first advice was forget it. i think cain was onto something. president obama said we will never see osama bin laden walked the earth again. from the standpoint of moving on from this,i thought cain had the right answer. host: president obama praised mitt romney for passing universal health care in massachusetts. the issue came up in the debate
on thursday. >> stood in iowa in 2008, on the night of the iowa caucuses, and he promised the nation that he would do health care reform focused on cost containment and he opposed an individual mandate and he said he would do it with republicans. he broke that promise. he went to washington, d.c. and jammed down our throats one of the most misguided pieces of legislation in the history of the country that will make health care cost worse, not better. host: your comment? guest: i thought that was very clever. it was more about obama and his overage of health care rather than the mitt romney passing of health care in massachusetts. the audience right away was on the focus of health care. guest: i think president obama
underreached on health care. they took too long and did too little. republicans will have an enormous problem on health care because they cannot offer anything more concrete than their opposition to president obama. that will wear thin soon. we will see some changes month after month over the next 18 months that make people, especially seniors, more comfortable with the benefits of law that was passed. in 14 months, republicans will get tired of talking about health care because there will be better -- very little for them to talk about host:
guest: i can't imagine a worse week. the idea that he would say he will not decide whether he is running or not or tell us until his reality tv show ends is an affront to american democracy. he is a silly man and as always been silly. we are thrilled that he is at the top republican polls because that is the stamp for republicans. i wish he had had a better we politically. as a human being an american
citizen, i am glad he had a lousy week because i hope he goes away soon. guest: the decision to go to the white house correspondents' dinner was probably the worst decision. host: and he was a guest of "the washington post." guest: i guarantee was a guest of nbc. -- he was not a guest of nbc. that is an indication of where the party is. i think this is clearly a sense of where he wants to go. republicans look at donald trump as to where the unfavorable are with president obama. it is less about donald trump. it shows a weakness and a lot of areas. host: this is a poll from "the new york post."
13% are excited about mike huckabee. host: to siesta support among republicans. guest: people look at enthusiasm now of the electability argument. that was always an argument my sense is that the real electability and enthusiasm will begin when primaries and caucuses begin and when there is some winnability. at this stage, we will see candidates inject their own sense. i'm less worried about enthusiasm debs. if you total up those percentages, they are similar but there is room for movement for these candidates. host: our roundtable on this
sunday, jesse is doing is from chicago, good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i want to talk about the president and the rest of the democrats. they deserve a whole lot of credit for terminating a sum of unleaded. that being said, i want to let the republicans know that for mr. bush to take credit for torture people to get that information is odd. god forbid, we go to another war somewhere, withstanding the we have -- what standing do we have? we cannot prevent them from during our guys. as far as democrats, we took something great with the osama bin laden issue by getting rid
of this guy and completely screwed up the story. we should have let the american people have it the way it was and we would have been good with it. guest: intelligence matters. what we have seen this past week and where the previous administration set the table for september 11, i believe we are precisely where we need to be in the country. i did not see president bush claiming and touting this. i think he has been somewhat understated and let history take its course. as a country, this was what all of us should see from the issue of terrorism. if we are going to focus on
eradicating terrorism, this is a good step from the symbolic sense that we are on the right track. host: different times, different players, but some have compared the 2012 race, as to what we saw in 1992. we have seen some republicans announced that they will not run for the gop nomination is a fair comparison? guest: no, i don't think so partly because of timing and also the political environment is more heated now than it was 20 years ago. i think it makes sense for republicans not to commit now. there is a lot of time and there is not so much money. in the events of the last week, if i were a potential republican candidate, i would wait. i think we will have many
candidates certainly by the early fall. who are serious and engaged. the republican side believes there are severe problems with the obama presidency and i think they will move on them. one comment about president bush, a man i don't think well of or admire. chris is right, this was a 10- year operation. the torture issues are a big problem. for anyone to claim that this was one party or another is completely false. host: let me go to " the new york times" --
guest: from my standpoint of experience, and mitt romney has a good framework of fund-raising and improve the last time. i think it is unfair that many other candidates have put together good finance operations alreadytithing matters a lot. we will see when major donors continue to tithe. from the comparison from 1992, the fact is that incumbent presidents largely win. if you look back at the last 10 presidential cycles, seven have one and three have lost it was ford and carter and george h. w. bush. the reason they loss was largely because they were in a primary.
so far, this president will not be in the primary. they lost because they were third-party candidates. it looks like the incumbent president is factually strong but we will look at the other candidates. guest: bob i am the last guy in the world to ask about tea party support. i think it might romney is eminently electable. that is one of the republican challenges. our guy is stronger, calmer, more direct than you are is their argument. the other argument is our guide will lead america in a new
direction. the interesting thing about the death of osama bin laden and presidential politics is we have never seen anything like this in american history. an unseen war fought in a place we don't know and the death of one person and what that will do to american politics, i don't think any of us know for sure, but i think that will affect donors, primary voters, everybody in ways no one has seen before. host: fla., republican line, good morning. caller: how are you? i have a couple of comments and only one i expect you guys talk to me about. the first one is about the candidates. the republicans believe that anyone can beat obama and why cannot now have the media.
i'm calling about the photos. al-qaeda is our enemy, not islam, would cut off our heads on camera. as a country, we have this debate about the fuss -- about the photos with saddam hussein and the arab culture respect strength and transparency. they show all the pictures and their culture. they said they wantthey want to. why do we not show them? guest: the first point is a good one, too. we do not show the pictures because we are better than that. i think about quite eisenhower, fdr, or theodore roosevelt. the idea we would do something
like that as an act of war and have to prove it to the world is an american -- unamerican. we have done it. let's move on. guest: i think there are larger points than the photographs. when you work in government and in the executive branch, there are more important things to debating then photographs from the last week. host: i read excerpts of this piece in the first hour. i want to read one sentence. "bin laden spent his days in a dingy room with no internet access, drawing his final pre breaths in miserable isolation
and probable pain." guest: i am glad you brought that up. i think it is an important point . if he were that isolated, alone, and cut off for five years, that is a victory in itself. i think that is a product of intelligence and military efforts we will never know about. he got thumb drives from couriers every now and then. that is different from him being in the cave with people with guns. he was in a little place for five years. we were winning that whole time, too. host: doug joins us from riverside, california. caller: i was calling in for a
few questions. we went into libya to prevent air strikes and into that hitting -- ended up hitting a compound that almost killed gaddafi. the next day, which killed osama bin laden. i do not think there are a lot of conspiracy theories in america. i think when we start to question, it begins to be a conspiracy theory. guest: from the standpoint of libya and what happened here, it is one thing about developing theories and another thing about where the facts are. you may get into the questions of the president on foreign policy before we leave. from the standpoint of being aloof with the iranian green
revolution and in the administration, they went to the united nations, the same organization that put libya of to have the human rights council, to what we have seen in bahrain and syria. from a standpoint of what this week review what happened this week with the president, i think it shows his decisiveness has improved on foreign issues. host: you are both political strategists and not foreign policy strategist. what are the chances he will visit this year? guest: i think they are quite high. it is a complicated than a minute. pakistan is important to us. it is upset with us. -- it is a complicated issue. its military relationship with us is enormously important to both countries from a financial
and security point of view. its relationship with india is of the utmost importance in that region. other than china, is probably the most delicate country -- most delicate relationship we have with any country in the world. i think a lot of that relationship will go under the radar screen with the american public. i do not think it can be stressed how important it is. host: the president is heading to el paso, texas, on tuesday to lay out his plan for comprehensive immigration reform in a move that may help him with hispanic voters next year. guest: it is an issue he should have been focused on for the first part of his administration. it looks as if he has taken the cue. we will see where he stands on
border security. if this is political from a standpoint, then it is all late. guest: i think he believes in the fundamental principles of comprehensive immigration reform and always has. it is a difficult political issue to get done with democrats and republicans. with each party for different reasons. it is very often for geographical reasons. occasionally for a ideological reasons. restress hisill prestre commitment to the issue. for all the americans who want the issue to go way, more wanted to get done. neighbors, business owners, public figures. i think it will get done. his recommitment is an important part of that.
host: sean joins us from north carolina. caller: i was wondering if they could comment on ron paul. he was pulling better than most republican candidates against obama. he has done a lot of fund- raising thus far. i will take the answer off the air. guest: paul, you do not taken lightly. from the standpoint of credibility, he has 111 code- sponsors to audit the federal reserve and board of governors. there is a sense of spending where it has been clear. libertarian is a strong vein
along with conservatives. there is a lot to be said about going around loop. i will take anybody running again that performed well before. you should not dismiss him off about. host: his son has said that if his father does not run, he will run. do you remember any time we have had a father-some combination? -- father-son combination? guest: not really. i do think he is a serious candidate. i would not have been surprised olled at 15%. he is smart. he has a serious band of supporters. i think he will be a serious candidate. host: he was in the debate on
the fox news channel talking about the debt, deficit, and the economy. >> if you have a government that provides the national defense but do not have militarism, maybe we could take care of people at home if we were not spending $1.5 billion a year on militarism. that money needs to be spent at home. we would have more defense and not less. i do not see why we should raise the financial debt. they will probably not default. they have money coming in. they can pay it. it is nothing new. our country has defaulted three different times. guest: with $3 billion already spent with foreign aid to pakistan, that is a key component right now. it will be discussed this weekend in the future. he is on to something about
where we put our priorities as a country. i think some of his positions will carry a long way. host: howard is next from california. caller: chris, i think you will agree with me that this is silly season and only political junkies have any interest in all of this. what is your title? guest: democrat is fine. thank you. caller: would you address the nlrb situation? at this point and probably through the election, i would like to quote one of the
operatives that worked for bill clinton known as the corporal. his statement was, "it is the economy, stupid." host: that was more of, instead of a question. with one of you like to respond? guest: a light to begin by saying happy mother's day to my mother. -- i would like to begin by saying happy mother's day to my mother. i think that is the best comment i could give. host: here is more from former vernorador and gov yesterday. >> the world to step into should bring the excitement and not fear, anticipation and not anxiety. the prospect for breakthroughs and conquering human disease,
lifting the poor from desperation, and bringing about greater world peace -- those are challenges worth your efforts. our system needs new thinking. we need a fresh generation of innovators, leaders, risk takers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and activists. that is you. you are not just taking ownership and responsibility for your own pathway, but for all of our futures. host: the remarks from john huntsman are available on our website. eric hauser, let me ask you about the white house reaction. the republican governor is leading after five years as the governor of utah. he is appointed as ambassador to china. he announces he will leave to run against a person who appointed him if he gets the
nomination. guest: i am not in the white house. i cannot speak to details. anyone who is the ambassador to china in this day and age probably comes to realize the vast significance of our relationship with that country and the region. if you are a man of power and money, it might occur to you that you could do a better job down the road. hearing his remarks and knowing what little i do, i think he is less of a partisan than perhaps a visionary about the role of america in the world. that is an appropriate place to go. it is unusual that an ambassador for a sitting administration would do this. i do not know.
even if it is unprecedented, i do not think it is a bad thing. it is probably a product of reflection. any politician that comes from the amount of money and power and can reflect on big issues might make that decision. host: you have a republican primary that includes two former governors. one past health insurance in massachusetts. the other worked for president obama. how does that play out in a republican primary? >> on paper, you would consider it would not play as well. personalities are involved as well. there are two candidates. we will see how other attributes up more than vulnerabilities. with mr. huntsman, is never a
bad career move for an executive to run for president. they have a lot larger chance and usually to get elected more than someone from the chamber of the congress. host: our next caller is from oklahoma city. caller: there are three points i would like to get across. when you said you would give bush credit for getting bin laden, remember that bush is the one who took his eye off the ball. if we had stayed in afghanistan, we would have caught bin laden. it would not have taken 10 years. bush left afghanistan and went to iraq. we spent billions of dollars for nothing. let's talk about the photos. these tea baggers talk about trusting the military and needing to listen to the generals. the generals of the one that told president obama not to let
the photos out. there was the idiot pastor in florida and burned region that burne -- that burned the koran and people were killed. paul ryan. the tea baggers complain about president obama taxing their children and grandchildren. i have voted for two presidents, bill clinton and president obama. none of my presidents are the ones who put us in this position. paul ryan tells me that i am 41 and i am going to get screwed. he told the tea baggers that you would be ok if you were 55 and above that he will screw your children and grandchildren. host: i think you have taken us over the edge in terms of your
language. strong words. let's get a response. guest: i think it shows there is a sense of anger in the country from republicans on spending and where we have been. democrats may be looking at foreign policy in the past. there is a saying in the old testament that is what is. this week has proven it is what is. that is on a whole host of measures including security. guest: the comparison worth noting is that in 1979 when ronald reagan was running against jimmy carter, the control of government was a major issue along with spending. it was when we crossed a helicopter in the desert and did not rescue the american hostages -- we crashed a
helicopter in the desert and did not rescue the american hostages. it is similar on the first part and completely dissimilar on the second part. republicans have a big political problem in that sense. host: one of our viewers is asking about an hour with each candidate. we have been interviews with some of the candidates that are available on the website. we will have more in the coming weeks and months as the race continues to unfold. nbc had a focus on the debate we have been talking about. here is an excerpt. >> you lost in 2008. what makes you think you have a chance this time? >> people say i am rich and a dead fish. they say i look like a villain
in a lifetime movie. why do they let me talk? [laughter] >> newt gingrich, i have a feeling you do not want to be president. would you like to duck out early? >> i would love to. [laughter] [applause] >> michele bachmann, how can you win over the independent voters? >> it will be like fatal attraction. at first, i will come off intense and a little bit sexy. over time, the intensity will become overwhelming. you will be afraid that you will make me angry. that can be a dangerous thing. cars get keyed.
boxes of excrement will show up on your porch. he will decide it is safer to marry me. i challenge you to a staring contest. it begins now. [laughter] >> scared and horny. >> sarah palin, you seem to have focused on reality television and twitter. what is new that you have to offer the american people question reports this week, weaving course one of the world's greatest films. i am thrilled to say good riddance to katie couric. host: that was from last night's snl. guest: that was good. i think we will see more. from an american humor standpdpoint, the
>> and next jonathan alter, a columnist for bloomberg and the author of "the promise," joining us live on the phone. you have been falling hillary clinton since she was the first lady of arkansas. -- the following hillary clinton since she was the first lady of arkansas. caller: she has a good but not -- guest: she has a good, but not great relationship with president obama. they attacked each other
fiercely during the 2008 campaign. she described him as "twisting her arms or legs," late 2008, to convince her to be secretary of state, but it was a very smart move by barack obama. by all accounts, she has succeeded in the job. she has a good relationship with the white house. she has never quite connected with the president on a personal level, but there are not a lot of people who feel that they are close to him. that is to be expected. they have a working relationship that is productive for the united states. he is very happy with the appointments that he made. she is generally in her element, although fatigued.
shis beautiful, -- she is a dutiful, responsible, smart, and effective secretary of state. we do not know yet if she is going to be a great secretary of state. part of that will depend on whether she can help to turn the ripples that are emerging from the middle east and its arab spring into a stronger tide of renewal and reform. host: the pieces called -- piece is called "woman of the world." you point out that she is terrific off the record. guest: if she says t wrong thing, it could create an international incident. she has learned, through long experience, to be wary of the press, sometimes even defensive.
more of the real hillary comes out when she is off of the record. you can see why friends consider her to be such good company. she has a nice, ironic sense of humor and is fun to talk to. i tried to get as much of the real hillary in to this piece as i could. i tried to do what i tried to do in the open " the promised," where i wanted to go behind closed -- to do in "the promise," where i wanted to go behind closed doors and tell people what barack obama is really like. host: this is the june edition of "vanity fair." we are talking to general -- jonathan alter.
you say she is not as calculating as her public image. guest: she is a planner, a disciplined thinker, in some contrast with her husband. in terms of the way her mind works, she has more in common with the president than the former president. every body assumed that she was always plotting to go to the senate. she was not. that came up fairly late in the clinton presidency, not long before the 2000 election. she is not as politically calculating as an upper critics have said -- as some of her
critics have said. has said she will retire from public life in 2013 -- she has said she will retire from public life in 2013, at the end of this term. i don't necessarily think that is true. i think there is a decent chance the democrats will turn to her in 2016. she will be a young 68, if her health continues to be strong. i do not thi she is plotting for that. and she assumes that she wl not run. do not see the democrats coming up with another candidate 0-- i do not see the democrats coming up with another candidate who would be as formidable.
a lot of democrats were not interested iselling anything critical -- saying anything critical. she is taking the job seriously. it is a hard job. it is much harder than running for president in 2008, as taxing sas th -- taxing as that was. although she has not articulated an overarching doctrine for the united states, i am not sure that is a shortcoming. both the president and the secretary of state to think that to the doctrine is more for the -- state think that the doctrine is more for the "doctrine- aire." host: as you look at this,
hillary clinton commented that she might have been trying to stifle a sneeze. what are your thoughts? guest: i think it is a wonderful, iconic photograph. i am always wary of reading too much into it one particular photograph. in this particular case, when they are getting information from the cia, from cia director leon panetta about what is going on in abbottabad, pakistan, there were moments, two in particular -- one when the helicopter went down. that brought back two terribly disturbing historical memories. one from 1980, when a helicopter
crashed durin gthe iran hot -- during the iran hostage rescue mission. it destroyed jimmy carter's presidency. the other was during the clinton administration, the famous black hawk down situation. at the time that chopper went down, i do not think anybody in this situation room knew what to expect. it not clear that this picture was taken at that moment. when they were trying to clear pakistani airspace when the mission was over and the military had scrambled jet -- they were not sure whether the jets would try to intercept the u.s. helicopters. it is easy, after the fact, to go, oh, well, what did those guys have to do? house. was it for them compared to the navy seals -- how scary was it
for them compared to the navy seals? if you are the policy-makers in charge of signing off on this kind of decision, and you are watching in real time, hearing reports in real time of what is going on -- it is quite different than it was in 1980, for instance, with the iranian situation. th is a realail biter. i think he did -- think you can see a real sense of worry about how this was going to turn out. host but the conclude with secretary of state hillary clinton's -- lets conclude wh secretary of state hillary clinton's relationship with the president. how do they work to keep the hatchet.
-- hatchet buried? guest: when she arrived at the state department, she was explicit with her staff that she woul not listen or tolerate any bad mouthing of the president. i did find -- i scratched that itch and found some of the concerns that the state department has with the white house and vice versa, at the staff level, to are always going to exist. they are not as serious as some of this rifts of the past. she is determined to stay on good terms with the president, even if she has some trouble sometimes awfully relating to h -- fully relating to him.
no secretary of state, without the confidence of the president, can succeed. also, i tried to take the reader through libya, egypt, some of these other big decisions, explaining how she uses a binder that usually goes on classified ocuments to keep her hair in good shape. in that sense, the piece tries to cater to people's rsonal interests in the personal hillary rodham clinton, as well as delving into some of the issues and telling some stories that relate to how she actually operates in the office.
host: this story is available online at vanityfair.com. "woman of >> tomorrow, carol doherty details a new report by the pure research center which finds many americans across the political spectrum have become more divided in their political views. former deputy national security adviser for counter-terrorism discusses al qaeda, preventing future attacks on the u.s., and what the obama administration future response to pakistan should be. we story looks at the 2008 financial crisis and the lack of prosecution of high profile participants. "washington journal," live at